"We can't just let him die Gabrielle! If we get him to a hospital what do we say happened to him? Do it!" Gabrielle knew she was right but she wouldn't give him enough to do more than begin him healing. He had to be of clearer mind before they took the next step.
"Matthew, I know you're having trouble breathing but if I do this you have to be able to drink from me. We have to get some of my blood into your system." Matthew shook his head yes between coughs to show her he understood.
Gabrielle held up her arm and with her nail cut a thin line across her wrist. The blood flowed freely from the cut and Angel helped Matthew lean back a little and Gabrielle put her wrist to his lips. "Drink Matthew. You have to try to swallow as much as you can." His first attempt did nothing but cover them both in more blood but then Angel laid him back even further and the blood flowed down his throat and soon he was sucking from her and swallowing on his own.
After a time Gabrielle knew he had to stop, he was drinking too much and it would mix too strong with his own blood. She pulled her arm away even though he tried to keep it against his mouth. "Rest Matthew, let my blood heal you. Rest, when you wake we will talk again." Angel laid him down gently on the cushions.
Gabrielle knew that Michael's body would be ash by morning. The three pieces must be taken to different places. She covered his body in a blanket and then placed his head in a bag as well as the heart. When it had turned to ash she would dispose of it where no one would find it. With all three sections buried in different places he could never return.
Gabrielle waited until Matthew was resting then she went to take care of Ben. She had to finish what the silver started. She would not look over her shoulder any longer. She cut off his head and retrieved his heart, placing them in bags away from the body. She covered his body in a sheet and left him to turn to ash.
Angel watched over Matthew as he slept. His breathing became less labored and she knew Gabrielle's blood was working it's magic. She knew he would need to rest throughout the night to let his body fully heal. She also knew from her inner clock it was well into the night and she needed to get Angel to help her move stuff in front of the curtains before dawn. The curtains had withstood the force of the glass being blown in but the wind would billow it in and allow in light if they didn't barricade themselves in.
Neither would need to feed but they both would need to take turns resting during the day.
As long as they kept it dark they would make it till the sunset again.
Gabrielle finished with Ben and then they moved everything heavy to the windows. They took the time to clean up all the glass then they found candles and placed them within reach then both laid down next to Matthew and waited for morning.
Matthew woke several times during the day. Each time he seemed stronger than the time before. He managed to drink some water and finally some wine, but neither could get him to eat anything. Gabrielle washed him and found clean clothes for him. He stayed awake longer each time he woke until closer to evening when he sat up and asked for something to eat.
When the sun set Gabrielle left Matthew with Angel and left to dispose of ashes. Matthew had many questions but Angel tried to make him wait for Gabrielle's return. He told her of his dreams of her and his waiting for her to come for him.
After a time Angel heard the elevator start back up and just to be safe she grabbed the meat cleaver and stood just inside the door in the shadows. If anyone but Gabrielle came off the elevator she wasn't asking who they were first.
Angel heard her friend familiar voice as she whispered her name. "Angel it's ok it's only me."
Angel came out with the cleaver and Gabrielle smiled and started to tell her where she had taken the body but Angel said no. "Don't tell me, if I don't know no one can ever see it inside me or get it out of my head. I don't want to know."
"How is Matthew?"
"He rested good, ate something and has been full of questions ever since. His breathing is back to normal now, so he is healing."
"What kind of questions? About us?"
"Yes, but mostly about you." Angel smiled as Gabrielle walked over to talk to Matthew.
"How do you feel?" Matthew stood to meet her as Gabrielle walked up to him.
"I feel 100% better than last night. I didn't think I was gonna make it last night, I probably wouldn't have if you hadn't helped me. How can I thank you?" Gabrielle made him sit back down to talk to her.
"You don't need to thank me Matthew. We wouldn't have let you die. We would have gotten you to a hospital in time."
Matthew was shaking his head. "I don't like doctors. When I was little and my mother's boyfriends got carried away hitting me she would take me to different hospitals and the doctors didn't help me. They should have helped me. How many times can a kid fall down the stairs or out of a tree? When I got bigger and she ran out of new places to take me she would take me to one of her druggy friends who had been a medic in Viet Nam and he would try to patch me up. I was better off not being treated most of the time. He didn't have many legal drugs so he didn't have stuff to numb the bones he was setting. So they gave me vallium and other assorted adult shit and I would be so messed up I didn't remember anything for days after a trip there. So doctors are not high on my list of people to trust. I am glad you fixed me Gabrielle. I already thanked Angel for pushing you. I know you weren't sure about giving me your blood. In my dreams it was always the other way around and I gave you MY blood but this worked out fine for me!"
"Wait and let me tell you what's involved and then you can see if you feel the same way.
Gabrielle looked at Angel who smiled and nodded her head.
"We are vampires. Most but not all you have read or seen in movies is true about us. We drink blood to survive. It is impossible to live with out it. We have to stay out of the sunlight. We obviously don't need to find our coffins at dawn and bury ourselves to sleep, otherwise I couldn't have stayed here with you. We need to stay out of the direct sunlight and we normally rest during the daylight hours. The younger the vampire the more sleep he needs and the more nourishment, just like a newborn. We can be killed by silver, the liquid silver nitrate I use is quite nasty stuff and acts as an acid when applied to the skin of a vampire. Garlic if prepared right can smother us. You can't grab a clove of garlic from the kitchen and throw at us and have it do anything, but properly prepared it can be deadly. Fire can kill us as can being buried under moving water. We do not age, but we also no longer have a soul. If you believe in God and wish to go somewhere when you die then this isn't for you. Each of us have a different gift or curse depending on who you ask. It is something we have no control over. Say like you wish to be able to fly like Michael, just because it is your wish doesn't make it happen for you. You may have the ability to move objects or communicate long distances with your mind. No one knows what they will have until it becomes apparent in them. How am I doing so far?" Gabrielle looked at Matthew's face for any sign of doubt. There was none, he was sitting there smiling at her as if she were reading from the Holy Grail or something.
"You're doing just fine by me. I am not afraid to join you. I don't know what I have to do to convince you of that, but I am not afraid." Gabrielle knew his words were true. She wasn't finished with him yet though, he had to hear all of it.
"There are those that will try to kill you. Both human and fellow vampires as well. It is no different than being human. There are turf wars. 'Your gang is killing on my territory so you're being hunted.' No different than humans the violence is just crueler. My fate for helping April end her life was to be sealed inside a coffin forever. Michael would have sealed me inside and I would have slowly gone mad from the hunger and the solitude. We are a cruel race. There are those of us who see humans as nothing more than prey to be toyed with and hunted for mere amusement. While those like me only kill when necessary and are choosy about who we kill. It is important to know your surroundings always. Who are the other vampires around you, are they friend or foe? You will need to learn to shield your mind. Most of us can read thoughts as easily as if you were speaking out loud. There is much to learn Matthew. You said I came to save you, I may be cursing you as well. You have to be certain you understand what's at stake." Gabrielle looked at Angel who reassured her she covered everything necessary.
"I have no one. I have no ties to keep me bound here. My human life has brought me nothing but pain and sorrow so I don't hesitate to become like you." Gabrielle met Matthew's gaze as he said these words and she saw no fear or doubt. She looked at Angel and spoke between just them.
"I don't know how long it will be before he will be able to leave here Angel. If you want to drink from him too it might be a good idea so we don't separate until he is ready to travel with us. I will ask him but I don't think he will mind. I see no fear in his eyes so I am ready when you are."
"I would like to drink from him. I like him, I'm glad you chose him and he is going to be part of us. I too think he is sincere in his decision and I am ready when you are." Angel smiled.
"Ok Matthew, we need to drain you of your old blood down to the smallest amount without killing you then I will open my wrist once again and you MUST drink from me. My blood has to flow into you and replenish you. I asked Angel to drink from you with me. If you object to that please say so."
"No why would I object? I will have two beautiful ladies drinking from me how can I object!" Matthew laughed as he held out both wrists. He was ready. "No more talk is needed. Take me now."
Gabrielle took his shoulders and laid him back onto the pillows. She looked into his eyes and smiled, then she bent down and bit into his neck. He took in a huge breath as the pain mixed with pleasure for him as Angel took his wrist and sank her teeth into the vein she found pulsing there.
Matthew couldn't distinguish between pain and pleasure. It all melded together inside him as his life flowed out of him. Gabrielle, careful of his heartbeat reached out and touched Angel gently as she felt the moment coming. Angel moved back and watched as Matthew gave his blood up to her friend.
Matthew grew weaker but wasn't afraid. He knew he would wake to a better world. His arms, once holding Gabrielle's hair, fell to his side. He closed his eyes and waited to die.
She listened for his heartbeat and when it became a mere echo of what is was she stopped drinking. Angel handed her a small dagger she took from her boot and Gabrielle opened her wrist for him. She placed it over his mouth and allowed some to run into his mouth to try to coax him to drink from her. He had to drink it and soon.
"Matthew, drink Matthew. Hurry." His lips opened to allow more blood to drain into him. "Matthew you have to drink from me, don't wait." She placed her wrists directly onto his mouth and she felt him try to suck against her skin. "Suck harder, come on you can do this. Suck Matthew." She closed her eyes and spoke inside him now to help him respond to her.
"Matthew you have to drink on your own. You have to take my blood into your body and let it conquer your old life. Please take my blood." She was rewarded with a moan as his instincts took over and he began to suck her wrist in earnest. "Yes that's it, drink from me." The sensation of her blood being taken was quite pleasurable to her. She knew she had to make him stop before he took too much. She could be harmed if he took too much from her. She was much smaller than him and she would give him what he needed but she had to be careful too so she didn't let herself surrender to the pleasure completely.
When she began to weaken she tried to take her arm away. Angel had to help her break the connection he had gripped her so strongly. She touched his face as he groaned and hushed his protests. " If you need to, you can drink again from me again after I rest Matthew. Close your eyes and sleep now. Your body will need its rest when the change begins." Gabrielle laid down beside him and closed her eyes.
Gabrielle slept too. She needed to gain her strength back in case she hadn't given him enough and he would need to drink once more. She may even need to go out and find someone to drink from. He may need more of her blood than normal to heal himself. She would rest so she would be strong enough to continue.
Angel watched over them and made sure they were resting with no problems. Matthew groaned a few times as his body began to heal itself but the change had not begun yet. He would do more than groan when his body began to change. She knew Gabrielle might need to feed before she could continue and even thought of going to find her someone but was afraid to leave them there alone.
Matthew groaned loudly and Gabrielle woke. She turned to him and saw Angel close by.
"His body is trying to heal itself. He may need more blood so it isn't so painful for him. I don't know if I have enough yet to do the job. If I do try I'll need to feed as soon as I let him drink from me again but I know I won't have the strength left to go out and find someone. While he sleeps maybe I need to go and feed now. In the time it takes me to return the new blood I drink will be absorbed by my own so he isn't confused when the change occurs."
"Yes if it didn't matter if he got more than your blood I would let him drink from me too but I know his body will fight the change even with only one blood invading it. I can bring someone to you Gabrielle. You can let him drink from you and then you can feed and replenish yourself." Gabrielle tried to think of what to do.
"It probably would be better if you brought someone here. I don't like the idea of you going out alone until we know there isn't anyone else around who came with Michael, but I don't think I'll be able to go out if he drinks from me again." Matthew groaned loudly and tossed in his sleep. Gabrielle touched his face when she saw how flushed he was. "His body is fighting I have to feed him again. Find someone quickly and I'll try to wait till you get back to feed him. When the change begins in earnest it'll take both of us to hold him until he's through it." Angel left quickly and Gabrielle held Matthew's hands and reassured him she was there.
"Rest Matthew. Don't fight so hard. Let my blood heal and strengthen you. It will be over soon and you won't feel so much pain then. Let your body heal itself. I am right here beside you, touching you."
Matthew seemed to relax under her gentle voice in his mind. He breathed deeper and his body visibly relaxed. She laid her head down on his chest and listened to his heart beat. It wasn't strong yet and she knew he would need more of her blood but she wanted to wait until Angel returned so she didn't try to hold him alone when the change began. Full strength she knew she could easily but once he fed from her again she would loose strength and he may hurt himself struggling if she couldn't hold him still.
Suddenly Matthew jerked under her and cried out loudly like he was in pain. She tried to waken him to tell her what had happened but he only kept trying to get up. She held him as much as she could and tried to talk to him mentally but he wouldn't respond to her voice any longer. She shouted his name and his eyes tried to open. "Matthew!" she shouted again. "You have to tell me what's wrong before I can help you! Please open your eyes and look at me."
He groaned loudly, grabbing his chest and he fell back against the bed unconscious again. She knew she had to get him to feed again. She could no longer wait for Angel. She would have to open her wrist and try to get her blood into him without him consciously drinking it to begin with.
"Matthew, you have to drink from me again. Please hear me and know I am here with you, you aren't alone. I don't know what's happening inside you but my blood will heal you. Please try to drink from me. My blood will help you."
Hoping his mind registered what she had said, she opened her wrist and put it to his mouth. She allowed only a little blood to spill into his mouth to see if he was going to swallow without choking. He involuntarily swallowed as she allowed more to flow onto his tongue, she waited for him to realize what was happening and start to suck on his own.
"Drink Matthew. Help me help you. You have to drink and get more of my blood into your body. Let my blood take over and heal you. Drink from me." Gabrielle knew it was helping having any of her blood going into him but she really wished he would wake up enough to drink from her as before. She continued to let her blood spill into his mouth waiting for Angel to return. She was not weakening at all yet but if he started drinking in earnest she knew she would need help. With more of her blood in his body she knew the change would begin.
Matthew groaned again and choked on her blood, spraying them both and causing her to take her arm away from his lips. "Matthew please wake up. Listen to my voice and reach to find me. You can open your eyes. Try Matthew." She had to get him awake. She laid his head back down on the pillows and went to the kitchen and got a glass of cold water. She hated to do it but she threw it in his face and he gasped and opened his eyes enough to look at her.
"Drink Matthew. Here, drink please. I can't help you if you don't drink." As she put her wrist back to his mouth she got down close to his face so he would focus on her and he finally started to suck. She knew by the grimace on his face he was in pain but she wouldn't ask him anything until he was done. He had to drink as much as he could while he was awake. Her blood would heal whatever was wrong inside him and he would be well by morning.
She felt the drain on her as he continued to drink from her but she let him have as much as he would take. She had to lay her head down on his chest after a few minutes. "Hurry Angel," she whispered as she closed her eyes.
She didn't know how long she laid there unconscious but she was awakened abruptly when Matthew cried out and tossed her off of him onto the floor. She tried to get up and help him but she was too weak to even lift her head. All she could do was hope he didn't hurt himself until Angel got back. She cringed when Matthew screamed, knowing the pain of having her blood overtake him. She would always remember how it felt to have Michael's blood race through her body like it was acid. "Hurry Angel."
She tired to speak to his mind but knew the pain would block out everything else until the change was completed. He continued to scream and tear at his clothes as her blood burned through his veins. She couldn't stand to see him tear at himself knowing she was helpless to stop it but she couldn't turn away. Finally she heard the elevator start up and mentally she shouted. "Hurry Angel!! Matthew is in trouble!"
Angel ran from the elevator and grabbed Matthew's arms and pinned him easily. She looked over at Gabrielle and knew she needed to feed so she turned back to the boy she had found and instructed him to help Gabrielle. She knew if he got close to her Gabrielle could bite him, he just needed to get within reach of her. He followed her command easily since she had already bitten him and as he knelt down to reach for Gabrielle she grabbed his head and bit into his neck. She took no care to be gentle she simply had to feed and she tore into his neck and drank until he was drained of blood.
Angel held Matthew while he screamed and tried to sooth him as much as she could. She also remembered the pain of the change. But she knew it would be over with soon and he would heal and be strong by the time the sun came up. She turned and saw Gabrielle laying over the boy she had brought and knew she had gotten him to her in time.
Gabrielle finally looked up at her and sat back against the wall and they waited together for Matthew's transformation to be complete.
Matthew's voice grew hoarse from screaming but finally he began to whimper softly as the change had begun to come to an end. Angel let go of his arms and let him lay quietly while his body settled down and he fell into an exhausted sleep. They were both covered in sweat and she went to the bathroom and brought out wet towels to wipe his face and chest. He had scratched himself up pretty badly before she got there but they were already showing signs of healing now that Gabrielle's blood had taken over. She handed Gabrielle a towel as well as she picked up the boys body and took him to the freight elevator. She left with him and after a few minutes returned and sat down by Gabrielle and the two waited for Matthew to wake up.
The sun came up and both of them slept as Matthew slept well into the day. The scratches on his chest and face completely healed, his inner body healing as he continued to rest. Gabrielle woke first. She kneeled over him and touched his face gently. "Rest Matthew. There is no worry over time now. You sleep until your body is whole again. I'm sorry I wasn't able to help you through the change. I let you take too much from me and I didn't leave enough to help you. Forgive me that mistake. I will watch over you until you open your eyes so rest knowing you're safe."
Gabrielle laid down next to him and placed her hand on his chest. His heartbeat strong now as her blood ran through his veins. She looked over at Angel and back at Matthew and she smiled knowing that with her two friends beside her, she no longer had to be on the run. Together they could handle any threat that came their way, human or vampire. She had a family again and she felt safe.